Battle Mountain's Sean Bengoa attempts to find his way into the end zone on a 2-point conversion against Pershing County on Friday night.
Battle Mountain's Sean Bengoa attempts to find his way into the end zone on a 2-point conversion against Pershing County on Friday night.
LOVELOCK — Even thought the season is just four weeks old, the Battle Mountain High School football team is giving its fans heartburn, with last-minute barn-burners in the last two games.

Battle Mountain lost a 7-6 decision to Yerington on March 20, after missing on a 2-point conversion with a handful of minutes to play.

Battle Mountain was on the road this past Friday night in Lovelock, to play Pershing County. 

The Longhorns jumped out to a 20-0 lead in the second quarter, only to see the Mustangs score with 56 seconds left to play to come from behind and win 23-20. 

“That one stings,” said BMHS coach Mitch Domagala. “We had them on the ropes. The kids played really hard. They battled and never gave up.”

With the loss, Battle Mountain dropped to 1-2 on the season.

Battle Mountain took advantage of Pershing County mistakes to build its lead in the first half.

The Mustangs fumbled on their first drive of the night, which put the Longhorns in excellent field position at the 32-yard line.

Freshman Anthony Silva, who came in late in the fourth quarter against Yerington, and scoring the only touchdown on the night for Battle Mountain, got the start against Pershing County.

The freshmen made the move look good, scoring on a 30-yard touchdown run, after getting the ball back after the Mustang miscue.

Pershing County fumbled for the second consecutive time on its drive, but Battle Mountain couldn’t convert on the miscue and turned the ball over on downs in Pershing County territory.

The Longhorns increased its lead to 12-0, two minutes into the second quarter when Silva connected with Declan McClary on a 37-yard touchdown pass.

The Mustangs quickly punted on its next possession and Battle Mountain quickly countered with a short 36-yard drive. On the second play of the drive, Jose Navarrette Guizar broke free for a 27-yard scamper and a 20-0 lead after the 2-point conversion with 7:40 left in the first half.

After struggling on offense for much of the first half, Pershing County put together a scoring drive late in the second quarter. Aided by a personal foul call on the Longhorns and a fourth-down conversion, Hayden Burrows cut the Battle Mountain lead to 20-7 after a 1-yard run with 3:17 left in the half. That would be the score at halftime as well.

Pershing County grabbed that late momentum and it moved forward into the second half. 

The Mustangs took the opening drive of the third quarter 75 yards on the strength of their running game. Pershing County quarterback Raul Rincon capped off the drive with a 14-yard run.

That trimmed the Battle Mountain lead to 20-14 and was the only score of the third quarter. Despite just one score there was action in the third quarter.

On the ensuing drive, Silva was shaken up on a play and was out of the game, as Jose Guizar came in at quarterback. 

After a few plays out of the game, Silva came back in the contest and promptly completed a pass to Terrance Fetterly to the Pershing County 12-yard line.

“That changed things up a lot for us,” added the coach. “We were moving the ball well and Anthony was playing well for his first start as a freshman. He got hit pretty good a couple times by Lovelock. Jose came in and did a good job.”

However, a couple of plays later, Silva was intercepted and Pershing County returned it for a 97-yard touchdown.

But the Mustangs were called for two penalties on the play, including a person foul, taunting penalty that moved the ball all the way back to the 22-yard line.

Pershing County cost itself once again, as a long drive ended with a fumble in Battle Mountain territory. The Longhorns couldn’t capitalize on the miscue, punting the ball back to the Mustangs.

Pershing Country proceeded to take six minutes off the clock to start the fourth quarter, but once again fumbled at the Battle Mountain 2-yard line with less than six minutes to play.

Deep in its own territory, Battle Mountain was tackled in the end zone for a safety and Pershing County cut the deficit to 20-16 with 5:21 to play.

“We just got stuck in not a very good place,” Domagala said. “It was just too small of a pot to get out of. I thought all the kids stepped up and played well. We are learning to play in these tough games.”

Pershing County took nearly four and half minutes off the clock and scored with 56 seconds left on a 3-yard run by Rincon to give Pershing County a 23-20 lead.

Battle Mountain attempted one last trick play at the end of the game but was intercepted to give the Mustangs the win.

Battle Mountain is back home Saturday night to play Incline at 6 p.m. Pershing County beat Incline 24-21 in double overtime earlier in the year.

“We will get back at it and it looks like Incline might be a buzzsaw,” Domagala said. “We will prepare and work hard all week and get ready for them.”